This study covers the United States personal hygiene nonwovens industry, defined here to include materials made from fibers, filaments, and films, which are arranged into webs, batts, or sheets, then bonded together using mechanical, thermal, or chemical means.
Nonwovens are categorized by the web formation process used to produce the material:
For the purposes of this study, sales of composite nonwovens are broken down according to their constituent web types (e.g., sales of spunbond-meltblown-spunbond are reported in terms of its spunbond and meltblown contents).
Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts to 2024 and 2029 are provided for nonwovens production (total) and demand (by web formation process and by application) in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation). Total demand is also shown in square meters and in metric tons.
Totals for nonwovens presented in this study include nonwovens sold on the merchant market. Nonwoven goods used in captive production are not included in these data. In addition, the study discusses impacts for COVID-19, pricing trends, competitive products, as well as the global outlook for personal hygiene nonwovens.
Demand for nonwovens used in the production personal hygiene products is expected to increase 1.4% per year to $880 million in 2024, supported by:
Imports of personal hygiene products continue to grow, restraining US production of these goods and growth in nonwovens usage domestically. Canada and Mexico account for the largest share of imports.
The average price of personal hygiene nonwovens (calculated by dividing the total value of nonwoven fabrics sold by total area) was 8.1 cents per square meter in 2019.
However, individual product prices vary depending on a number of factors, including:
Through 2024, average prices for personal hygiene nonwovens are forecast to tick up incrementally as development of higher value nonwovens boosts market value and rising energy prices increase the cost of production.
Nonwoven fabrics used in personal hygiene products compete with a variety of other materials – including woven and knit fabrics and plastic and silicone products – depending on the application. The decision to use one material over another is primarily based on both cost and performance considerations. Other factors, including technology and environmental considerations, also can prevent or require the use of a particular material.
In general, nonwovens are valued for their versatility as they more easily engineered for customized performance requirements. Nonwoven fabrics can be made to fit a particular application’s requirements by varying fibers, resins, finishing treatments, and web formation and web bonding processes to provide the appropriate level of absorbency, chemical reactivity, durability, softness, and strength. This flexibility makes nonwovens competitive in a variety of applications.